Brazil and India in the race for 4G / LTE

Over the last two decades, the telecom industry world
over has grown and evolved at an incredible pace and considerably changed the
way people communicate.

The total revenue earned from the telecom industry
is 3 percent of the gross world products.

Though fixed line is still the most penetrated telecom
segment, mobile segment has been the key factor over the past year, offering a
wide range of opportunities to telecom service providers and services to

Cell phones will overtake PCs as
the most common web-access devices worldwide by 2013. It is projected that the combined installed base of smart
phones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units by

Telecom equipment vendors and service providers are
supporting the telecom growth in emerging countries such as China, Brazil,
Russia and India.

The telecom sector in India is growing and trying to
erase challenges. India has 826.93 million mobile
phone subscribers as of April 2011. Around 30 percent of the new subscribers
are coming from rural areas thanks to the efforts of the government and

Despite efforts, VAS revenue growth is slow. VAS revenue
stands at Rs 110-120 billion (Rs 11,000-12,000 crore), which is about 10 per
cent of the total revenues of the mobile operators’ revenue. However, VAS
contribution to operators such as Reliance Communications, Airtel, Vodafone and
Aircel is around 15 percent.

The overall VAS revenue contribution is likely to
increase to 12-13 per cent during 2011-12. The growth would be driven by
increasing focus of operators on VAS in view of continuous fall in voice
tariffs. 3G and LTE has the potential to increase the VAS revenue. In Japan,
operators’ VAS contribution is around 40 percent.

By 2020, India would complete transition into digital
switching and transmission, broadband and 3G.

The Brazilian telecom market has generated $67.42 billion
in service revenue in 2010.Brazil’s mobile market is
the fifth largest in the world. With rising popularity of social networks, the
growth of smart phone tripled in 2010.The shift of revenue from fixed to
mobile and from voice to data is accelerating. The
country is having many new trends and opportunities coming ahead. The outlook
is bright for 2011.

Brazil’s regulator Anatel has an ambitious
agenda to revamp the country’s regulatory framework.

Rural area is a major focus for Brazil’s continued
growth. Fixed infrastructure is largely centered around major towns and cities
and is costly to spread out to more rural areas. Wireless technologies are
likely to remain a popular choice and encouraging the continued growth of
telecoms services into remote areas.

VAS revenue contribution of operators in
Brazil grew from 8.2 percent to 10 percent in past 3 years estimating 40.6
percent increase.

New technologies such as IP-based solutions, digital
certification and signature, wireless LAN find large potential on definite
application of specific market segments, and are expected to raise the level of
technology investments by the Brazilian financial market. Its wireless industry
trends towards convergence, adding a range of telecom services to a single
medium to maximize benefit and efficiency.

Both India and Brazil are making great effort towards 4G/LTE to shape a well-built ground for technology. Brazil
is keen to see the deployment of 4G/LTE before the next FIFA World Cup, to be
hosted by Brazil in 2014.

India is also not far behind. It could also lead LTE-TD
broadband technology developments. From its point of view, the current year is
seen as the year of “next step towards a broadband wireless revolution
using LTE.”

Many equipment vendors are active in the Indian LTE
market. Qualcomm and Huawei set up a trial 4G network in Hyderabad. The LTE or 4G transition would be
glossy in India using core set up of the 2G/3G networks. The 100 Megabits per
second LTE service will offer unique
consumer experience. Brazil is on the right track to launch 4G. India has just
started its journey towards 4G / LTE services.

Countries moving towards 3G and 4G services are providing
a clearer path for VAS growth.

Emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Russia are expected to
increase global VAS income.

However, in today’s long race of competition, the shining
future will reside only in the hands of those companies who will successfully
align their strategy with the demands of their customers.


By Abhilasha Sharma

[email protected]